Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ouch! Baseball can be dangerous...

I love Larry the Cable Guy...

My God, I find this guy funny...

Donald Trump: Errr... I quit!

"Donald Trump, whose low-rated reality show "The Apprentice" was left off the new prime-time schedule unveiled this week by NBC, says the network can't fire him -- he quits. The real estate mogul issued a statement on Friday saying he has informed the U.S. television network he is "moving on from 'The Apprentice' to a major new TV venture," though he declined to elaborate. There was no immediate comment from NBC." Click here for more.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died 13 years today

The former First Lady of the United States died 13 years ago today. It seems like yesterday. Here is the eulogy given by Senator Ted Kennedy at her funeral:

Report... Sexual advances at singles bars common: study

This shocking news report is being displayed as one of the top stories on CTV's website. Apparently, women are getting hit on in singles bars. My God... the humanity! In other news, people are getting wet while taking a shower, the hands of clocks turn clockwise, and bears do indeed poop in the woods.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I received my Erma Bombeck Writing Competition Honorable Mention letter and certificate today

Back in April, I found out that I'd received an Honorable Mention in the international 2007 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. I was thrilled! Yesterday, I received the confirmation letter and certificate. You can be sure that the certificate will be framed! Click here for the original post on this subject. Click on the photos to see the larger versions.

Pet peeve when buying a greeting card

OK, this has happened twice in the past two weeks. The latest incident was last night when I was buying a sympathy card for a friend whose father had passed away. So I go to a drug store and buy a nice card. I just didn't grab the first card I saw, either. I actually looked around and read a few. I chose one that I thought suited her and her family. Fine. I had a craving for a Diet Pepsi and bought one, too. So I pay for the two items and the cashier puts the card in a small bag. Fine. Then she starts to shove the ice-cold Diet Pepsi (also full of wet condensation) into the bag with the card. Say what??? I had to ask her not to do it quite rudely because she was about to ruin the card. Where's the common sense in this? Do you usually put something heavy and wet (get your mind out of the gutter) into a bag with a paper item in it? The exact same thing happened at another drug store chain when I bought my mother her Mother's Day card last week. I had to stop the cashier from shoving a bottle water into a small bag along with the card. Sheesh!!

Remembering Don Martin

Legendary Mad Magazine cartoonist Don Martin would have been 76 today. He died in 2000 at the age of 68. Click here for samples of his hilarious and quirky work.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Remembering Davey Boy Smith

Professional wrestler Davey Boy Smith, a.k.a. The British Bulldog, died on this day five years ago. He was a big star on the WWF (now WWE) circuit. He died of a heart attack while on vacation at the young age of 39. Here's a tribute video to him:

Singer Enya is 46 today

Happy birthday to Irish singer Enya, who turns 46 today. Here she is singing her first big international hit from 1988, the haunting "Orinoco Flow":

Casey likes my new office...

My cat Casey likes my new office, evidently. He's adopted my "In" basket as his new bed.

Kevjumba: The Real Me

Decluttering leads to other new freedoms

Hump Day
Published on Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

Last week, I wrote about the current decluttering project that I have under way in my home. Little did I realize at the time, however, the clutter-hating monster within me that I was about to unleash on an unsuspecting world.

From the reaction of readers, getting rid of clutter is like quitting smoking or losing a significant amount of weight, or even finding religion!

Getting started can be difficult. Remaining committed may be challenging. But the rewards at the end of the day are amazing. The relief at having accomplished a major decluttering is like a ton of weight (physical and psychological) being removed from one's shoulders.

I heard from people who'd gone through the decluttering process and came out the other end more focused and much less bogged down by not having to physically and mentally wade through mounds of "stuff" every day in their homes, offices, basements and garages. Now, only the important stuff remained.

By ridding themselves of clutter, they removed a massive layer of fog from their thought process. I know it sounds weird, but I can feel it happening to me.

So far, I've bid adieu to more than 20 big garbage bags of clutter - and I'm not finished yet! There's a carload ready to go to my son's new apartment, and I just finished dropping off a full carload at a local charity for their annual yard sale.

My family room and home office in the basement are now practically pristine. That old scratched-up pressed-wood desk that I bought 10 years ago is destined for the landfill. In its place will be one or two chairs, an end table and a lamp. A clean, quiet little corner in which to curl up in and read or talk. Gone is the messy, cluttered desk.

The office has been moved upstairs into my spare bedroom - a room on the main floor of my bungalow that was somehow constantly on hold for use by those most rare of house guests lately - someone sleeping over. So far this year, no one has used it. Last year, one person used it. So I decided that since I pay the mortgage, I want to benefit from some sunlight. The spare bedroom was banished to the basement.

If you live by yourself and the task of decluttering seems too daunting, make it happen anyway. Personally, I became completely obsessed and found ways around everything. This involved hiring people to truck away things and hiring movers to bring heavy things out into the garage.

Some people don't know that you can hire movers by the hour to move things around the house. I told that to someone and they were amazed. They would have never thought of that. Sure, it costs money, but they have the equipment, the expertise and the strength to do the job. They can be a godsend when that heavy furniture needs moving.

To remove that disgusting old desk downstairs, I hired a waste removal company to dismantle it and cart it to the landfill. No worries about me carrying it upstairs. No worries about storing it. No worries about asking people for help. Problem solved by using the Yellow Pages!

I also hired my friends' soon-to-be 13-year-old son to lug boxes upstairs, downstairs and into the garage - whatever needed to be done. He lives down the street and was quite happy coming over on short notice to make some extra cash for those trips to the mall with his friends. So for three hours at $10 per hour, I got some reliable help and he got $30 in spending money. He was a huge help, actually.

On a side note, the kid is making me feel really old. I remember holding him in my arms when he was a newborn baby and now he's growing like a weed, having been visited recently by the Puberty Fairy. His voice has dropped like a stone. He practically sounds like the guy who says, "This . . . is CNN!" Seems like yesterday that I was burping him on my knee and his entire supper ended up on my lap. Good times . . . good times.

I was feeling a bit sorry for myself watching this kid get older. I looked in the mirror, my nose turned up to find a new batch of grey nose hairs that had somehow managed to crop up overnight. Darn. Then, I had a brilliant idea. Since he's nearly 13 and is looking for cash, he's a perfect candidate for liberating me from that most hated, despised and abhorred (yes, all three!) of household chores: mowing the lawn - followed closely by raking the clippings of said lawn.

Finally! I could get rid of that dreaded chore. He was happy to agree when I asked him. Even when I told him that my lawn mower could be difficult to push, he didn't seem to care, the vision of more spending money for the summer dancing under that full head of curly hair that I would just love to take the clippers to! Must be jealousy. I remember when I had hair like that. Enjoy while you can, kiddo! Soon you'll be putting sun block on your scalp and plucking grey hairs out of your nose just like Uncle Brian!

So the decluttering process brought some wonderful surprises. I could never imagine how good it felt to get rid of all that dusty, unused, outdated stuff I hadn't touched in years. And I'll never mow my lawn again until my new helper moves away to university. Muahahaha! That's the best part!

I couldn't be happier had I won the lottery or got an unexpected tax refund. Actually, I think I'd rather get out of mowing the lawn, to tell you the truth. That's just as good, in my books!

American Idol shocker!!!!!!

Well, the big shocker everyone was waiting for finally happened last night when Melinda Doolittle was eliminated. She will NOT be in the final. A final without Melinda? What??? She was supposed to win this thing!! She made a very classy exit last night, though. Good for her! So the final will be Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks. My money is on Blake! Click on Melinda's photo to read her profile on the show's official site. Her elimination was such a surprise that it even made CNN as one of its top stories! Here are the two finalists: Blake and Jordin. Click on their photos to read their profiles:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

American Idol prediction for tonight

So, who will stay and who will go? Who will be in next week's final of America's #1 TV show? Well, Melinda is definitely a shoo-in. That one's a no-brainer. She is definitely the odds-on favourite to win it all. She's been consistently excellent and has rarely faltered -- and even when she has, it's been on nitpicky things. Certainly nothing major. With Melinda being a shoo-in, who will join her in next week's final? It's obvious from Simon's comments last night that he favours Blake over Jordin, and so do I. I believe that Melinda and Blake will be safe tonight and that Jordin will bid adieu. She's a great singer and a nice girl... but she's just not there yet. So, it's a Melinda-Blake final, in my opinion. Let's see what happens tonight.

Prince Harry will not serve in Iraq after all

Despite earlier signals to the contrary, Prince Harry will not be sent to serve in Iraq. Threats that he would be targeted for death and/or kidnapped were taken seriously, it appears. You have to admit, anyone serving with him would be 10 times more apt to be killed because all enemy guns would be aimed at his head! Nothing would please the Iraqis than to show the third person in line to the British (and Commonwealth) throne being tortured on video, I'm sure. Harry is said to be very disappointed. He had previously made strong public statements that he wanted to go.

May 16, 1990, was a sad day in entertainment

May 16, 1990, was one of those awful days in the entertainment industry when two mega-stars pass away. That day, both Sammy Davis Jr. and Jim Henson died. Here's Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog singing "Rainbow Connection" from the opening scene of The Muppet Movie:

Here's Sammy Davis Jr. singing "Candy Man" and "What Kind of Fool Am I?":

Janet Jackson is 41 today

Janet Jackson -- one of the musical Jackson siblings -- is 41 today. Here she is singing one of her first big hits, "What Have You Done for Me Lately?":

Happy birthday, SpaghettiOs!

SpaghettiOs hit the shelves in supermarkets on May 16, 1965 (or in October, depending on which source you believe).

Someone shoot me now...

OK... so it was 28C (82.5F) here in Moncton last week. And what's the weather forecast for tonight? You got it! 10-15cm (4"-6") of snow. Yup. You got it. Upwards of a half a foot of snow after summer-like temperatures last week. Unbelievable. And we're more than halfway through May.

Today's Hump Day column: Decluttering leads to other new freedoms

Hey folks! Don't forget to check out today's Hump Day column on page D6 of the Moncton Times & Transcript. It's a follow-up column to last week's on decluttering. I hope you enjoy it. I will post it here tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Remembering June Carter Cash, who died four years ago today

June Carter Cash passed away four years ago today on May 15, 2003. Here she is singing "If I Were a Carpenter" with her husband, Johnny Cash, in 1976:

Trini Lopez is 70 today

Happy birthday to singer Trini Lopez is 70 today. Here he is singing "If I Had a Hammer":

Happy 89th birthday to Eddy Arnold

Singer Eddy Arnold is 89 today. Here he is singing "The Richest Man in the World":

Controversial televangelist Jerry Falwell dead at 73

Jerry Falwell, the controversial and quasi-nutty televangelist who accused Tinky Winky of the Teletubbies of being gay, has died suddenly at the age of 73. No word yet as to whether or not Mr. Tinky Winky will be attending the funeral.

"The Apprentice" dropped from NBC's schedule... but not officially cancelled -- at least not yet

NBC has dropped Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" from its fall lineup for now, but stopped short of officially cancelling the low-rated reality show.

"NBC is close to telling Donald Trump "You're fired," but the network is holding back just in case they could use him at the last minute.

The future of his NBC series "The Apprentice" was cast into extreme doubt on Monday by the network's announcement of a 2007-08 programming lineup that made no mention of Trump or the corporate-themed reality show he hosts.

Such an omission, coming at the outset of the networks' annual "upfront" advertising market, would normally spell doom for a low-rated show like "The Apprentice." But NBC executives refused to absolutely rule out an 11th-hour reprieve for Trump's show."'

Click here for more.

The show definitely sucked this season, with completely uninspiring tasks. Combined with Trump's vicious attacks on Rosie O'Donnell (10 times worse than what she ever said about him), Trump's popularity has dropped considerably lately. Popularity is one thing, but his show relied on his credibility -- and that credibility took a massive hit with his feud with O'Donnell and his feud last year with Martha Stewart, whose version of The Apprentice he blamed for his version's freefall in the ratings. Seems to me that taking responsibility is a big part of being successful, isn't it?

This week's Hump Day column...

If you've been reading this blog, you can tell that I've become completely obsessed with cleaning up my house! The decluttering project has taken over my life, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel. After Friday, everything will be pretty much thrown out, tidied up, given away, or ready to be moved elsewhere. So, this week's column is a follow-up to last week's on decluttering. If you find yourself bogged down with clutter, there is hope! Other than some obvious mess here and there, my house wasn't THAT bad, but I knew where everything was hidden... and that's what was bothering me. 20 large garbage bags (so far) to the curb, a carload to charity, some stuff carted away by a junk removal service, and a big pile of junk at the curb for the large-item annual pick-up don't lie! There was definitely clutter around here. Read the latest column on the editorial page of tomorrow's Moncton Times & Transcript.

Monday, May 14, 2007

More clutter gone!

I took an entire carload (small SUV-load, really) of stuff I no longer need over to a charity today. They sell the stuff as a fundraiser. Feels great to have even more stuff out of the place! The garage was full. Sheesh! There'll be more stuff going on Wednesday evening when I clean the garage and the freezer downstairs. There's stuff in there so freezer-burned that it's barely recognizable! Good God. Thursday is the large-item garbage pick-up around here, so I'll have my fair share out at the curb for disposal.

Did anyone else have these as a kid?

These were buiding blocks made by Auburn. I used to spend hours and hours making all sorts of houses. Never had much use for the roof, though. I used to build them, tear them down and then start again. Lots of fun! It's too bad that they don't sell them anymore. Maybe I should check eBay.

Remembering Frank Sinatra

Singing legend Frank Sinatra died nine years ago today on May 14, 1998. Here he is singing one of his signature songs, "My Way." What a voice!

Actress Amber Tamblyn is 24 today

Remember CBS' Joan of Arcadia? It's a real sin that it was cancelled. Great show with really interesting characters. Amber Tamblyn played Joan, a teenage girl who regularly spoke to God. It was kind of along the lines of Touched by an Angel and Ghost Whisperer. Here she is in a scene from Joan Arcadia with Wentworth Miller, who currently stars in Prison Break. In this scene, Miller is Satan -- but only Joan knows who he is.

Here's the show's opening. The premise of the show was pretty much what the song said... Joan could meet God anywhere. On the bus, in the store, in school...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wow... more decluttering...

I hired my friends' son to come over tonight to help me move stuff upstairs, downstairs and out the door, depending on what it was. He was happy to make some spending money and I was happy to have some slave labour... oops... I mean some help. :-) Hey, $10/hr when you're just under 13 is not bad! Feels greater and greater every day to have more junk out of the house. Another full garbage bag went out the door tonight, with several things for the large-item garbage pick-up this week and lots more stuff for charity. Things are progressing as they should! Next up: Finalizing the new office, completing the tidying up of the furnace room, then I tackle my son's room. Since he's away at university, this is a perfect time to go through everything and do a good sorting of stuff. He won't recognize the place when he comes home next!

Happy 84th birthday to Beatrice Arthur

Whether you remember her as Maude or Dorothy, Beatrice Arthur has been a mainstay on TV for the past 35 years. Today, she turns 84. Happy birthday! Here she is recently on The View:

And here's a TV report on her from last November:

Pope John Paul II was shot 26 years ago today in an assassination attempt

I remember this like it was yesterday. In a brazen public assassination attempt, Pope John Paul II was shot 26 years ago today on May 13, 1981. The news shocked the world. Needless to say, the news inundated the airwaves and newspapers for days on end. Click here for a CBC Radio news report. Click here for information from BBC.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there... especially mine! :)

"By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class." Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001)